As you pursue living from a prophetic perspective, you will be surprised by things the Lord pulls up out of your own heart, which you didn’t know were there — fears, insecurities, idolatries, prejudices, attitudes, and offenses you didn’t know you harbored. This is part of the process He uses to propel us higher into His vantage point.
Our natural minds are like muddy streams, full of impurities, and we’ve been living in the murk for so long that we are not even aware of it. The Holy Spirit reveals our weaknesses so that He can clean us up. If we cooperate with Him in the cleansing process, our “stream” becomes crystal clear. We can see the way He sees and hear the way He hears.
As the Lord brings these impurities to our consciousness, rather than resisting His promptings or being horribly ashamed of ourselves, we can simply give them to Him, repent, and let Him fix them. You might pray something like, “Father, I didn’t know that was in me! Please forgive me, and change my heart. Remove any distortion from my thinking which colors how I view life, myself, and others.” As we humble ourselves and ask for His help, He is faithful to make the necessary changes inside of us.
Let the Lord use other people to show you weak areas in your life, too. We all have blind spots about ourselves — but people close to us have no problem seeing where adjustments need to be made. Although it is painful to admit we’re not perfect, having the courage to listen and to be willing to change takes us higher into who we are meant to be. The less we fight it, the faster we get there! Coming into seeing from the Lord’s viewpoint involves discipline, refining, and humbling.
Now, let’s shift gears a bit. Throughout this series, we’ve talked about listening to the Lord in various ways. We can also come up into God’s thinking by learning to listen to people. Listening carefully is a lost art in itself, which we really should attempt to re-cultivate. But if we are to be truly prophetic people, we must learn to listen at a deeper level, through the ears of the Spirit, to what others are saying.
God always looks past the surface appearance to the heart. We can learn to listen to people’s hearts too, and in doing so, we become like Him.
I am convinced that much of the fragmentation which exists in the Body of Christ stems from jumping to conclusions about what our brothers and sisters are saying, missing the real meaning, and then developing bad opinions and feelings about them based on inaccurate hearing of the intent of their words. If we will make an effort to listen thoughtfully and ask questions when we do not understand one another, we will hear differently. In listening with the ear of the Holy Spirit, we are required to apply the charitable love criteria laid out in 1 Corinthians 13.
Step one of listening to people’s hearts is getting past hearing their outward words in order to understand the motives behind the words. But it must go deeper still. Even wrong motives may be spawned by a cry for help or love which needs to be responded to even more than the motive itself does. A motive is often a symptom of a deeper root which needs to be dealt with. It takes patience and careful probing to get at what is in the heart. But if we will take the time to do it, asking the Lord to give us His ear, God will be able to use us to bring healing to hurting people.
In our next post, we’ll deal with some prophetic perspective “don’ts” and conclude by summarizing the main points of this series.